Rag Weaving with a Boat Shuttle

This is a simple way to make a rag weave table runner. The M’s and O’s weave structure provides a great framework. What I like about narrow fabric strips is that you can wind them on quills, just like yarn, and weave with a boat shuttle. It is fast weaving that breezes right along.

Rag weave table runner on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Boat shuttle holds quill with narrow fabric strips to weave table runner. In view below the table runner are pot holders that were woven using unbleached cotton multi-strand yarn.

I could use a small ski shuttle for this, as if I were weaving rag rugs. Or, I could even place the weft across by hand on this narrow-width warp. The most efficient way is the boat shuttle, and the main thing is to get the weft across so weaving can happen. In life and relationships, it is love that needs to get across.

Patience and kindness are universal expressions of love. Love never fails. It started with the patience and kindness of God. As we draw toward Christmas, consider the meaning of the holiday–that God so loved the world. His patience and kindness toward humanity meant sending His son to our world. And that baby, named Jesus, became God’s way of taking love across the gap between heaven and earth.

May you be known for patience and kindness.

Good Christmas to you,


  • linda says:

    That’s the best use of M and O’s I’ve ever seen. I’ve never liked the weave structure. I’ve even tried it in warp weight linen on a finer background. happy Chris-Quan-Hansika to all. love, peace, and Joy, linda

    • Karen says:

      Linda, I feel very honored by your gracious comment, especially considering your vast experience. I’m glad you like this M’s and O’s version. Thank you!

  • Darlene says:

    Your fabric strips look so neat and even…can you describe how you cut the fabric strips?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for asking, Darlene!
      Most of my fabric is in five yard lengths. I fold the fabric on my cutting table, so I am cutting through several layers, to cut along the lengthwise grain. I use a large-blade rotary cutter and a cutting mat, and an acrylic cutting guide ruler, to cut the fabric into 3/4″ strips. I taper the ends of the strips for overlapping in the shed.

      I hope that helps!

      Happy Weaving,

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